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           recovery through discovery  

           recovery through discovery 

developing partners 


Our History 


Our Philosophy 




Our Philosophy  


                   recovery through discovery 


                   recovery through discovery 


                   recovery through discovery 


              dp Evaluation 


We would like to start by sharing some of our history with you. It all started with the introduction of the Research Governance Framework by the Dept of Health in 2002,

This placed a responsibility for organisations to involve those people who use services and their carers in the evaluation of services.

Not just as an add on but in the planning, design and delivery of every aspect of the research and evaluation process.

We consulted and worked in equal partnership with DEVELOP - service user and carer led group, who set the curriculum and content of the ARISE Project

The ARISE Project was funded by the Workforce Development Confederation, Hartlepool Social Services and the TNEY NHS Trust. We used peoples narrative accounts to frame their research questions, so their research is informed by their lived experience.

We used research used as a tool in an empowerment process.


Paulo Friere, was a Brazilian educationalist, who worked with illiterate peoples in Brazil to enable them  to vote as they had to demonstrate a degree of literacy in order to be able to do so.

He gives us our conceptual framework, as he said that knowledge is not neutral, there are hidden agendas contained within it, so its very important to read between the lines of what is written and spoken to find these in order to aid in your reflective process

He also noticed that people who have experienced a level of oppression tend to experience their world from a passive position, just accepting their lot, similar to learned helplessness (Seligman)

He thought this was because they lacked some of the critical skills we need to be able to reflect upon their world and from which to derive plans to change it!


Conscientization is the process the person undergoes as a result of engaging in an educational process which stimulates their curiosity and facilitates the person in their own empowerment process.

The person changes internally in terms of the way they view themselves and their world, they no longer believe that it is all their fault.

Through making the links between their knowledge and their own actions they can direct themselves in changing and having an impact upon their world, this can be as simple as moving from being a recipient of a care package which is less than satisfactory to managing your own care through direct payments.

His approach creates a space for the person to reflect upon their own historical and social circumstances and to develop insight into the economic, social and historical forces that have acted upon their world, sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, stigma,poverty (very important more mh problems caused by poverty than anything else, worldwide!!!

People begin to DO things for themselves with support from dp!


Ignacio Martin Baro was a Jesuit priest and a social psychologist, who worked with oppressed peoples in El Salvador. He noticed that the praxis, the approach in psychology always viewed individuals from the top down.

He advocated that we turn the whole of psychology on its head and start from the bottom up! 

READ Quotes, this is why members of the ARISE Project chose to work with those people who are at the very bottom of the hierarchy, as they are the people who face the highest level of social oppression as a direct result of the level of social exclusion they experience. 

We knew that we wanted to transform and change our worlds for the better and this Liberation Psychology approach gave us a way of doing it!


So who are we now and how did we come into being?

Well we were lucky enough to win funding from the Dept of Health as part of their Pathfinders Programme in Social Enterprise, so we are a business.

We are a company ltd by guarantee, set up as a workers co-operative, so one person one vote!

Our main aim is employment for all our members, if this is what they want for themselves, this is very important, as we are not about pushing anyone into anything.

Patricia Hewitt, said QUOTE and we can all vouch for this, we all know how effective we can be but getting others who hold the purse strings to agree with us is the difficult part!We are aiming to undertake research, evaluation and staff training in areas that are important to us and others like us.For us though given our focus on being socially inclusive, it is important that we enable the voices of those who are heard least often to be at the heart of everything we do!


A brief word about the recovery process, as this forms a big part of the supportive and facilitative work we do with each other.

Its important to remember that recovery does not need professional intervention as we often forget about this. It is more likely to happen if you have the support of other people who believe in you around to help you in this process.

Recovery is not linked to the cause of the problem and can take place even if your symptoms reoccur.It does however alter the pattern of your ill health but does not always happen in a straight line, as we all dip from time to time.

It is for most of us those things that happen when we are ill that are the hardest to recover from such as loosing your home, your friends, your family, your livelihood, these are the challenges faced by people on a daily basis not their mental ill health! Most importantly when we do recover it does not mean that our illness never happened as it helped to make us who we are!


So what are we as an organisation doing?

Well we are working with BIHR to develop Human Rights Training that we can deliver to service users, carers, user and carer groups, services and anyone who has a vested interest in furthering the empowerment of those people who use their services, across all public sector services.

We are consulting with people who have been sectioned about how the LSC can increase access to legal aid for people who are sectioned under the MH Act.

We are involved as equal partners in the North East Employment Strategy for people with MH needs and have helped to shape it through our consultations with service users and are now working to share and spread the findings and to further its implementation.

We have submitted a bid re young people who self harm with Uni of Northumbria and a CAMHS Consultant.



So how will we  know if we have had an impact?

Well we are going to evaluate ourselves, our project lead has registered at Manchester Metropolitan Uni to evaluate dp using a community and liberation psychology approach.

We are developing our own service user led outcome measures, some of which are concrete and real such as having a care package that actually works, having a house that you can live in, having a job that you can go to, gaining a qualification that you can use in your world and how much time you spend feeling good about yourself and remaining well in our communities.

We will be using a broad range of tools to help us collect data about both the concrete and the more abstract impacts that working together is having upon all of us, such as our stories, our diaries and our observations.

We are working with two prof’s to do this one from Manchester and one from Brazil!